After doing a bit of exploration around the multiple streaming services that surround us with almost eternal quantities of content, it becomes clear that the industry of low-budget Christmas movies is huge. There are thousands of TV Christmas movies being released constantly, not only during the Christmas season, but throughout the whole year.
It is, actually, a fascinating industry that feels the void in people’s hearts when it comes to feeling Christmas at any point and any time. The clear consequence of such a huge number of Christmas movies being released every month is that they mostly adhere to a formula that involves the same look, performances, and stories. So, it becomes a huge surprise when one of these movies tries to do something different. At least in the context. Christmas on the Carousel is one of those daring exceptions.
Christmas On The Carousel is a film directed by Erik Bloomquist stars Erik Bloomquist himself and Madeleine Dauer. The film tells the story of four friends from school trying to face new developments in life and trying to keep their friendship alive at the same time. To do that, they will spend the night at a carousel museum.
The film’s premise is rather simple. We have seen multiple one location films, and they are mostly successful or not, depending on the quality of their writing. There aren’t many opportunities for big world building or huge action set pieces, so, characters are maybe the biggest strength or weakness in this type of movie.
Luckily, Bloomquist and the rest of his cast are good enough performers to create characters that feel realistic and far from unidimensional. Which is a big surprise, because the genre is mostly filled with cardboard characters and performers who are rather unbelievable in their efforts. Bloomquist is an unlikely leading man, so he feels more realistic than the classically handsome protagonist in this type of movie. The same can be said for the rest of the cast. Dauer is extremely beautiful and likable, and yet, she feels like someone you could have met anywhere.
However, while the performances are quite good, the content of the movie is plagued with clichés that we have seen countless times before. Novelty is overrated. Execution is what matters the most, but seeing the same plots over and over again becomes rather tedious. Watching another man trying to get the girl he never could while in school is an old convention. Really, too old. The subplot with the secondary characters trying to hit big on TikTok flows better as it is very timely but will get old badly in a couple of years.
Even when the clichés are many, there are a couple of scenes where all the characters can become real people and the performers can spread their wings. These are the best scenes in the movie.
The short running time of the movie, a baffling 71 minutes, makes it clear that there wasn’t really a lot to work with. Which is sad because the actors are enjoyable and the story and interaction could have gone into fascinating places.
Visually, Bloomquist isn’t doing anything special. The movie looks just like any other film of its type. This means a lot of over-lighting and that video look the cinematography often pulls off in these productions.
Creating new forms of storytelling when facing a production coming for a company that really knows what it wants doesn’t leave a lot of space for experimentation. So taking that into consideration, it makes sense that Christmas on a Carousel is the movie it is. Maybe in the future, these types of productions will have the need to follow a different trend, but that time it is not now, as audiences keep eating this format with pleasure.
Christmas on a Carousel is a tiny movie that could have been more fascinating but for what it is, accomplishes being the representation of one of the many tiny stories that occur every year during the Christmas season. Sadly, it falls into the more mundane of those categories.
Christmas on a Carousel is available on VOD/Digital.